Board of Works approves two projects
By Joseph Slacian
Wabash airport to get fiber communications
Metronet received a $40,000 grant from the City of Wabash to extend fiber communications infrastructure to the Wabash Municipal Airport.
The funds will come from the city’s share of the County Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT).
Officials at the Lutheran Air Helicopter hangar have wanted fiber at the site, City Attorney Doug Lehman said.
“The city checked with Metronet, and unfortunately it is not economically feasible to run fiber down there, based on the number of customers that are likely to connect to it, without some kind of incentive or assistance,” he said. “So the mayor has decided to use funds from his special projects CEDIT money, which is for economic development.
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All-inclusive park
In another matter, the board unanimously approved a contract for the design of the all-inclusive park. The park, to be located at the John Drook Memorial Skate Park on Carroll Street, is part of the Stellar Community Grant.

“The city allocated $200,000 in June of this year,” according to Rachel Uthe, a landscape architect with American Structurepoint who is serving as the city’s spokesman for the Stellar program. “There will be a remainder of about $38,000 left of that $200,000.”

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Posted on 2015 Dec 22
County Council denies local department’s legal fee payment request
By Emma Rausch
In a 7-0 vote, the Wabash County Council denied appropriation of funds to pay the Wabash County Health Department’s legal fees accrued in 2015.
The local health department’s officials requested $15,000 to be transferred out of the Strengthening Public Health Accreditation fund to pay attorney Larry Thrush for legal service fees in issues related to the Local Health Maintenance Fund, according to Mike Ridenour, council chairman.
“So (these are) invoices for services provided to (the health department) resulting (from the council) moving money from the Local Health Maintenance to County Health,” Ridenour explained.
Posted on 2015 Dec 22
City OKs abatements for Owens Corning, Troxel Equipment
By Joseph Slacian
Two Wabash businesses received 10-year tax abatements on Monday, Dec. 14, from the Wabash City Council.
Owens Corning (formerly Thermafiber) received two abatements, while Troxel Equipment received one.
The Owens Corning measure was a bit out of the ordinary, for one of the abatements was for work that had already been done at the Mill Street plant. Because of that, a public hearing was needed before the Council could consider the abatement.
“The reason we’re having this hearing is to talk about a tax abatement request that came in on a project that was done prior to the tax abatement application,” attorney Joel Stein told the Council.
Posted on 2015 Dec 22
Konyha, Bruss reappointed to City Schools Board
By Joseph Slacian
The Wabash City Council reappointed Bill Konyha and Matt Bruss to three-year terms on the Wabash City Schools board during the Council’s Dec. 14 meeting.
“The Council would like to thank those who took of their time to meet with us,” said Council member Joan Haag, the liaison between the Council and the Wabash City Schools Board. “It was a very informative exchange, and we’re grateful for all the input.”
Konyha and Bruss were selected from a field of six candidates. Also seeking the appointments were Liz Hobbs, Kirk Short, Candy Russell and Justin Wilcox.
Posted on 2015 Dec 22
Fourth graders learn metalworking 101
Candie Cooper McCoart shows O.J. Neighbours Elementary School teacher Amy Copeland’s fourth grade class how to fashion a necklace from their metalwork pieces on Friday, Dec. 11. Cooper McCoart spent the entire week teaching various classes metalworking techniques that she uses to make jewelry she sells across the nation. Photo by Emma Rausch
By Emma Rausch
O.J. Neighbours Elementary fourth graders hammered, bent and riveted metal Friday, Dec. 11, and throughout the week of Dec. 14 during the Honeywell Center Educational Outreach program, “Metalworking 101.”
Nationally known jewelry maker and local artist Candie Cooper McCoart headed the program and taught students how to properly use professional metalworking tool, the dapping block.
“They’re using real metalworking tools so what they’re doing feels authentic,” Cooper McCoart told The Paper of Wabash County in an interview. “Kids like using ‘real’ (tools). It’s a more special experience when they’re using the real thing.”

After doming, or shaping metal into a dome, the children then colored and fashioned their creations into a necklace to present as gifts to others or wear themselves.


Posted on 2015 Dec 22
303 people view ‘Star Wars’ pre-opening night at Eagles Theatre
Famous “Star Wars” droids R2-D2 and C-3P0 were displayed inside the Historical Eagles Theatre on Thursday, Dec. 17, and gave a chance for new and old fans a like the chance to grab a photo or two with the stars. Photo by Emma Rausch
By Emma Rausch
An estimated 1,300 people watched “Star Wars: Episode Seven – The Force Awakens” at the Historical Eagles Theatre during its opening weekend starting Thursday, Dec. 17, according to Vickie Miller, theatre operating manager.
“The Force Awakens” is the seventh installment and the sequel to the original “Star Wars” trilogy, which was first released in 1977.
The film opens on a Stormtrooper, a genetically modified soldier, named Finn as he tries to flee the evil military organization, The First Order. During his escape, his finds himself on the desert planet Jakku and meets the young, female scavenger Rey. Together they flee into space and set off to discover their destinies.
Worldwide, the film grossed about $238 million by Sunday with $120 million opening day, according to NBC News.
Posted on 2015 Dec 22
Mayor urges slow down along detour routes
Mayor Robert Vanlandingham reminds local residents that the bridge work at Harrison Avenue and Wabash Street will be ongoing until May 2016.
City Hall is getting phone calls about excess speed along the detour routes, and residents need to remember there are families being subjected to a major increase in traffic, the mayor said.
That, in turn, creates potential for accidents and/or someone getting hurt.
Vanlandingham encourages all citizens to slow down and be courteous to those who live in the areas of Gladstone and Broadmoor.
The police department will be increasing their visibility along with more signage and the possibility of temporary speed bumps.
"We understand the inconvenience but we need everyone’s patience and cooperation," the mayor said.
Posted on 2015 Dec 15
Christmas Spirit visits county children bearing gifts
Denise Snavely (left) and her father Dennis Starbuck (center) pack up their vehicle with boxes during the Wabash County Christmas Spirit delivery day. Volunteers like Snavely and Starbuck help program committee members like Christina Crump (right) deliver gifts to families in need of holiday assistance. Photo by Emma Rausch
By Emma Rausch
Nearly 1,200 kids were visited by the Wabash County Christmas Spirit Saturday, Dec. 12, with volunteers bearing gifts for children to open on Christmas day.
The late Ombra Keffaber and her husband, John, originally founded the Christmas gift program as “Santa’s Workshop” in 1968 until the now-closed Youth Service’s Bureau took over the project in 2002 and renamed in Operation Elf.
Since taking over the holiday service program Operation Elf in 2012, the Wabash County Christmas Spirit (WCCS) has continued the local tradition by filling 1,191 children’s Christmas lists this year and serving 425 families in need of aid during the holiday season.
Toys ranged from Barbie dolls to footballs, hair-coloring items to clothes and donated guitars.
Posted on 2015 Dec 15

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